Please take note that, from 1 September 2014, South African citizens will no longer be granted temporary passports by the Department of Home Affairs. Residents travelling overseas and to neighbouring countries are being denied access to some of these countries if they carry temporary passports rather than permanent ones. Unfortunately, this has led to numerous claims and accusations being made against the Department.
The fact that it took long to receive a permanent passport (which lasts for 10 years) has been cited as one of the main reasons that temporary passports were initially introduced. However, the Department has stated that the waiting period for permanent passports has been reduced significantly which, in turn, reduces the motivation behind having temporary passports in place. Temporary passports are also said to be involved in cases of corruption, contributing to the overall unreliability of South African travel documentation.
Essentially, discontinuing temporary South African passports will be implemented to counter the effects of the above-mentioned issues. Citizens don’t have to worry when it comes to emergency travels, though. For instance, if you were to lose your passport while you were overseas, have a family member who needs immediate assistance or who’s passed away, you may apply for an Emergency Travel Certificate (ETC).